Quinnipiac defeats Siena 2-1 in overtime

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

By: Shane Dennehy

The Quinnipiac Women’s soccer team is like a procrastinating college student: it says it will start an assignment early, but ends up saving it for the last minute.

The Quinnipiac Bobcats defeated the Siena Saints 2-1 in overtime on Wednesday, in a rematch of last year’s Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament semifinal.

“This was our fourth overtime game this year,” head coach Dave Clarke said. “We talked about trusting the coaches and how (overtime) can’t be pretty, it just has to be effective.”

The Saints had the first threatening chance of the game when senior midfielder Madison Vasquez used her fancy footwork to give herself enough space to get off a solid strike, but she put the shot just wide of the post.

Yet Gabby Albano put the Saints up 1-0 in the 23rd minute after Quinnipiac had a miscommunication between its goalie Olivia Myszewski and defender Sarahkate Norton.

Norton was unable to head the ball clear and Myszewski ran halfway out of her net, but neither properly dealt with the ball. Albano capitalized on the Bobcats error and put the loose ball in off the crossbar for her third goal of the season.

The Bobcats came out with a new energy to start the second half as they quickly erased Siena’s lead thanks to Laura Nicholas’ first career goal.

The red shirt senior midfielder from Northern Ireland slid the ball underneath Siena goaltender Taylor Dorado’s left hand.

Nicholas gained confidence from her first goal as she had another shot from just outside the box that seemed like it had eyes for the top right corner, but the ball ended up going just over the net.

It was not just Nicholas who gained confidence from her goal, but her teammates as well.

“It’s not just my game, its everyone’s game,” Nicholas said. “When you score a goal and get everyone else behind you, everyone gets more motivated and wants to go and win the game.”

Quinnipiac struggled to string any passes together in the offensive third of the field, thus frustrating the Bobcats forwards and midfielders.

“(Stringing passes together) has been our problem all season, out of conference and even exhibition games,” junior forward Nadya Gill said. “We get very frantic up top. We need to be more composed and not rush.”

The Bobcats had a chance to end the game just five minutes into the overtime period, when Quinnipiac junior midfielder Madison Borowiec headed a ball towards goal from the six-yard box. Dorado successfully stopped the shot to continue play.

However just two minutes after Borowiec’s chance, Gill showed why she is one of the best players in the MAAC.

Gill received a flicked-on header from Jess Gargan and, despite being one of the shortest players on the field, was able to hold up the ball against Siena’s Kaela Mahoney. Gill spun away from Mahoney and then dribbled through multiple Saints defenders before shooting the ball into the net.

“Nadya ran on the outside,” Clarke said. “She didn’t turn, didn’t slow down, didn’t come inside. They couldn’t stay with her and she finished it well.”

Gill’s strike was her ninth goal on the season. But more importantly, it gave Quinnipiac its fifth win of the season and second straight to begin MAAC play.

Quinnipiac is now 5-4 (2-0 MAAC) and will be back in action on Saturday when it travels down to Poughkeepsie, N.Y. to take on the Marist Red Foxes.

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